Cross-cultural differences in lingual tactile acuity, taste sensitivity phenotypical markers, and preferred oral processing behaviors

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Cultural and genetic differences in consumer populations across the world are important determinants for food preferences. The present study investigated differences in preferred oral processing behaviors between Chinese Asian and Danish Caucasian consumers and the possible relationship to lingual tactile acuity and the two most well-researched phenotypic markers of taste sensitivity, such as 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) responsiveness and Fungiform Papillae Density (FPD). A total of 152 consumers (75 Chinese, 77 Danish) were enrolled in the study and categorized by their preferred oral processing behaviors. Lingual tactile acuity was assessed according to responses to stimulation with von Frey filaments. The responsiveness to PROP and the FPD were also determined. Cross-population differences were found in preferred food oral processing behaviors in these two cohorts, as Chinese consumers were characterized by a larger number of ‘Soft processing likers’ (77% of the population) who preferred soft food processing in the mouth. Contrarily, Danish consumers mostly belonged to the ‘Firm processing likers’ group (73% of the population) who had preferences for foods that needed firm processing on biting and chewing. Moreover, the group of ‘Firm processing likers’ appeared to be more sensitive to touch at the apex of the tongue compared with the ‘Soft processing likers’ in both population cohorts. Cross-population differences in lingual tactile acuity were not significant. Differences in FPD and PROP responsiveness were found between these two population cohorts, with Chinese consumers generally characterized by greater FPD and PROP responsiveness compared with the Danish subjects. This study provides evidence on cross-cultural differences in preferred oral processing behaviors and in the two phenotypic marker of taste sensitivity. However, further studies are needed to draw conclusive relationships between preferred oral processing behavior and oral tactile acuity, PROP responsiveness and tongue anatomy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103803
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume80
Number of pages10
ISSN0950-3293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Cross-cultural differences, Fungiform papillae, Preferred mouth behavior, PROP, Tactile acuity

ID: 230895266